Thursday, January 14, 2010

Our story

People often ask me how my husband Hank and I met, so I thought I would sit down and tell this story not just for the inquirers, but so we always have this tucked away somewhere, to always remember how we began.

The summer of 2004 was a crazy one for me. I had just graduated college and was living in Scottsdale with my best friends, Autumn and Shirley. Throughout that summer I'd dated many different boys in my old, usual fashion of never wanting to be tied down. After an annoying run of annoying guys, I decided that I would become "anti-relationship/pro-friendship." And yes, I actually used this ridiculous term to describe myself many a-times. I was sick of guys, and meeting guys who would eventually turn out to be too "something," so I figured if I just decided to be friends instead of date I would enjoy myself a lot more. Of course as fate would have it, usually the minute you utter something like this, exactly what you're not looking for, comes knocking on your door...

My friend John had just gotten back from tour with his band, Where Eagles Dare. He had just gotten home, and I had gone over right from a workout, so I was not looking my best. I didn't care though, because I was just happy to see my dear friend after he had been all over the country for some time. We hung out for awhile, watched some television, when he said that our friend Jaesyn and their friend Hank had to stop by to get Jaesyn's tattoo book out of the tour van. This mystery man Hank had also just gotten back from touring with his band, Life in Pictures, and was going to get tattooed by Jaesyn. I decided I would stay inside when John asked me if I wanted to come out and meet Hank. I even sarcastically said something along the lines of, "What kind of name is 'Hank' anyway? No thanks." Yikes. So I sat in the comfort of glorious air conditioning on that hot August afternoon, when suddenly felt like I had to go outside; like I should go outside. I remember getting up, walking to the door, walking down the walkway, walking up to my friends...walking...and suddenly and seriously feeling like the wind had been knocked out of me as I looked at this tall, tattooed, curly-headed boy with the most beautiful brown eyes. The rest of this meeting was completely in slow motion. I said hello to Jaesyn and then "Danielle, do you know Hank?" "No, but nice to meet you." Slow-motion handshake. "Nice to meet you too, Danielle." I was in a fog, a haze, my brain felt like molasses. I didn't even know what to make of it. Later Hank would tell me that he felt the exact same thing, that in his gut something was saying this is it, this is the one- however unrecognizable that notion was at the time.

I went back inside and didn't say a word about that odd, lingering feeling. I went home shortly after and didn't think too much about it- I hung out with Autumn and Shirley, made some dinner, did our usual routine. That night Hank's band was playing a show at The Modified- the same show some of my girlfriends and I were releasing issue #1 of our then zine, Broad. I got there a little late, and was outside of the venue, to the right of the building in the dirt parking lot, when Hank walked by, grabbed my forearms and quickly, breathlessly and in one sentence said "Hi wow it's good to see you again we're running really late and just got here from Prescott but I hope you watch our set." And he was off. I hadn't watched his band before, and even with all of our mutual friends, I'd somehow never met him or heard of him. It was truly bizarre we didn't know each other, and looking back we had so many near-meets, including when his band played in my freshman dorms at NAU. I can recall walking through the lobby of Sechrist Hall during this time, and even remember his band playing. Odd. But back to The Modified, I'm embarrassed to admit that although I told Hank I would watch his set, I never went inside to do so, and once we were dating he told me he was looking around for me as he played and knew I hadn't come in to watch. Oops. I couldn't stick around to talk to him afterward, so I left pretty soon after he played.

A couple of days later I logged into Myspace to see a message waiting from Hank. Due to his cross-country touring, over the next couple of weeks we messaged novels back and forth to each other. I still have every letter that was sent, and they are absolutely amazing to read over. Through those weeks we got to know each other quite well and I knew we had a really special connection. He kept wanting to talk on AIM, but I really didn't want to because I knew once that happened, our letter writing days could possibly be over, and I truly loved them. So I consistently avoided giving him my AIM name whenever he would ask. Finally he said something about my avoidance so I begrudgingly gave it to him. That night he messaged me, but I was completely take aback when he was weird and unresponsive. After getting over the initial disappointment, I told him I had to go. He asked for my number and said he would call me in ten minutes. At this point it was probably around 9pm. I gave him my phone number. 9:10 came and went, as did 9:30, 10, 11, even midnight. I went to sleep, but was woken up around 1am by a phone call from an unknown 928 area code, and a voice saying "Ahh I hope I didn't wake you up, are you asleep?" He apologized a million times and explained some dramatic story about an ex-girlfriend and another ex-girlfriend having some issue with each other, having to do with him (looking back on this, seriously hilarious). We ended up talking until 4am about everything and anything, and he decided, at 4am, to drive down to Phoenix that very next evening to take me on a date.

The entire next day I was a ball of nervous excitement. This guy, who I had a total crush on, was driving four hours round trip to take me out on a date! I was ecstatic that he wanted to make that effort. We decided to meet at Veggie House, a vegan restaurant in Phoenix. I remember exactly what both of us were wearing. Me- a polka dot skirt with a white top tucked in, and blue ballet flats. Him- a Give Up The Ghost hoodie, jeans and vans. It's all still vivid in my mind. I remember how nervous we both were (later Hank would tell me this was his actual "first date" ever!). We had such an amazing dinner. Great conversation, wonderful food at a place we both considered our favorite restaurant. After dinner we took my car over to Harkins Camelview to see Garden State. Hank still teases me to this day about what an adamant non-soda drinker I was, yet kept stealing sips from his Dr. Pepper. I still blame it on nervous social-drinking! After the movie we went to IHOP to meet our mutual friends for a quick hangout, then we headed back to Veggie House, where we had left his car. We didn't kiss goodbye, and although this was better, I was so used to typically always kissing on the first date if I liked someone (tsk, tsk) that I was a bit let down. I drove home and went to bed, a little unsure about the whole thing.

When I woke up the next morning I was greeted with a long, long Myspace message from Hank, about what a great time he had on our date and how he couldn't wait to see me again. I'll never forget that feeling in my stomach when I realized that this was a mutual "like," and the guy that I was so into was so into me, and had no problem telling me.

Time started to go quickly here. I made a trip up to Prescott, we shared our first dreamy kiss on his bedroom floor. We became an official "couple" towards the beginning of October, and I still remember walking into our first show together at The Brickhouse, holding hands. It was neat to watch him play a set that night, before Converge went on, and thinking, "that's my boyfriend." We continued to spend more and more time together. It was easier for me to go up to Prescott, as Hank had band practice every night, and his father didn't care if I stayed over for days at a time. We spent almost an entire year doing the long distance thing, until the following August when we decided I should make the move to Prescott. That winter, while living in our first teeny tiny apartment downtown, sharing a twin bed and snuggling close when the heater would often break, he gave me a pink sapphire and diamond promise ring. He definitely kept his promise.

I feel lucky that I somehow met my one true love in this big, wide world. Thinking back to our story, looking through old photos, it's crazy to me to think that those young people were us at one point. We've been through a lot of life changes over the past almost six years, and I'm incredibly thankful that because we've been together for so long and since we were quite young, we've grown up and together, rather than up and apart. I will forever cherish those first special months of new love- those butterflies that still reappear today, the long phone calls when we lived apart, the letters and postcards sent via mail. I will always find comfort in knowing this is it for me, and I will always find happiness in retelling our story.

Thank you for reading!

0304

66 comments:

  1. Oh, wow. That totally made me tear up. What an awesome love story!! Thanks for sharing :)

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  2. that was a beautiful story (& beautiful wedding picture)!

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  3. Oh, how amazing!
    Thank you for sharing such a personal story.
    P.S. You looked really beautiful on your wedding!

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  4. awwwww lovely story.

    i am happy you two found each other.

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  5. Your story made me giddy.
    Love is so exciting!! I'm so glad it happened for you!

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  6. AW!!! Oh my gosh, you guys are seriously BEYOND cute! I teared up as well! more like crying, Ben thinks I'm such a nerd! but this was a great story to read. :)

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  7. Beautiful wedding picture and amazing story! It seems like fate.

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  8. Aww this made me smile so much! It's a perfect love story :)

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  9. can i just say i just stumbled upon your blog and you are one of the cutest little things!

    xxoo

    beautiful wedding!

    www.quitecheekygirl.blogspot.com

    chelsea nicole

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  10. I gush over adorable "how we met" love stories, and yours is definitely one of them! Thanks for sharing! :)

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  11. Fabulous story :) I also went to NAU, sounds about the same time. I graduated in 04. Probably have seen you a million times:)

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  12. wow a beautiful story so beautifully written! <3

    ~Emily

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  13. Oh my goodness....I'm all teary-eyed too! Lovely story. Thank you for sharing!

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  14. So cute..and that picture is so dreamy!! Love it!

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  15. So sweet! Its great reliving those memories!

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  16. Danielle, this was such a sweet and personal story! Thank you so so much for sharing :) Gives us single girls hope! :P

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  17. What a sweet story and a gorgeous wedding picture!

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  18. Aww, that is so sweet! Thank you for sharing! (:

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  19. I totally believe in love at first sight, thank you for proving it!

    Also, I just wanted to say that I think you are an inspiration. I am currently finishing up my last few months in school and then I'm off to be a teacher of rugrats myself. I have two tattoos and would love more but have held off for various reasons. I love that you are obviously a wonderful person and a great teacher and yet you have many tattoos. I want to hand your web address out to all the people who give me the 'What kind of teacher will you be if you have tattoos' talk. So thank you for being delightfully normal and yet covered in tats!

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  20. Thank you so much for sharing. Such a cute, wonderful story! ^_^

    I am totally fighting back tears right now. I'm such a sap!

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  21. I love that your butterflies still reappear after all this time! xox

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  22. So freaking adorable. I can't wait to share ours :)

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  23. Aww I felt all emotional reading that!

    I hope one day I will meet my perfect guy and have a wonderful, sweet story like that to tell x

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  24. I don't comment very often but I read you every day. You guys are too freaking precious!

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  25. Man, oh man. I am so happy to have read this! I never tire of hearing about you two....ahhh, love! love! love! I am now giddy and hopeful :)

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  26. so beautiful and heartwarming!and what an amazing film to go and see on your first date <3 xxx

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  27. what a wonderful story, beautiful - thanks for sharing it! ♥

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  28. that was seriously one of the sweetest stories i've ever read! and truly amazing, i guess the saying is true, when you know, you know. :)
    thanks for sharing, it seriously gives me hope for finding the same. :)
    -kel

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  29. That was a very sweet story! It makes me think of when me and my husband first started dating and all the myspace messages! :)

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  30. i loved your story! just like something out of a movie.

    you are very inspirational and i love reading your blog! it cheers me up to know there are positive, happy people in the world and i often check it when i'm feeling down.
    thanks!

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  31. WOW you gave me goosebumps!! I love reading about happiness and a beautiful couple truly deeply in love. thanks for the story

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  32. i felt like i was kinda reading my story of how i met jacob.
    especially all the previous times i watched his band but never really noticed..then when i met him for real we talked about all the times we were in the same place but never talked or realized it.
    CRAZY EX GIRLFRIENDS who would all hang out together and try to plan how to break us up.
    i think i may tell our story soon:)
    its so great that you have those letters. i had the best texts from jacob and then my phone was stolen:(
    love yalls wedding photo!

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  33. This was such a lovely story to read, Danielle. If there is one thing I'm a sucker for these days, it's a good old fashioned how-i-met-my-love story. Thank you so much for the little extra bright in my morning.

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  34. I'm completely crying at work reading this, geez! I just recently celebrated my year anniversary with my husband and when I think about us first meeting, it always brings a sweet nostalgic memory back. <3

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  35. i loooove that photo of you guys! so beautiful! too cute

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  36. Srsly, how perfect are you guys? Adorable and inspiring "how we met" story!

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  37. Ah tears in my eyes! That is the cutest story. You guys are so lucky to have found what you did. Good luck in all of the years to come. Although I doubt you'll need it!

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  38. Wow... i defiantly had tears come to my eyes. You are so meant for each other! And the wedding was so pretty! Im so happy for the both of you!

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  39. That is such a cute story my eyes actually started to water!

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  40. You story had me in semi-tears! What an enchanting life you both lead. I would love to see more of your wedding album!

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  41. That's really inspiring and such a sweet story.:)

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  42. such a beautiful story.
    you had me tearing up!
    :)

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  43. awwww! brought tears to my eyes... you told the story so well! :] seriously a great memory for you to have!

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  44. Thanks for sharing your story. How special. : )

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  45. Such a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing!

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  46. Aw this is such a sweet story! It made me feel really sappy and girly reading your very romantic tale! Thank you for sharing it with us!!

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  47. What a wonderful story! I absolutely loved reading it! I'm a sucker for love stories! Thank you for sharing. Your blog is so cute. :)

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  48. Cuuuute!! So I've been telling my boyfriend about this wonderful blog that I've been reading (yours, of course!) and how inspiring it is to me... but wait til I tell him that your husband used to open for Converge!! It's my boyfriend's favorite band of all time--and reading this made me feel so excited! It's amazing! <3

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  49. so sweet ... and you're right - it's good to have this story written down and TOLD even if it is tucked away somewhere in the blog archives :)

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  50. It's pretty amazing the little details you've stored away.

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  51. This is a fairytale story! I loved reading it! Thank you for sharing :D

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  52. I melted like Amelie with this sweetest story! :')

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  53. I want one of these stories. Its truely wonderful and Im so happy that things like this really happen.

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  54. oh gosh what beautiful words.
    Your story made me think about my relationship with my boyfriend. Before we began seeing each other I was very anti-men, but as soon as I started talking to Jared [my boyfriend] my feelings changed. We have been together almost 12 months now, but if feels like this will be for a lot longer.

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  55. Aww, reading this for the first time thanks to your Q&A post, and it srsly made me tear up <3 Such a beautiful story!

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  56. I can only hope that one day I find something like you too have, you're a very lucky lady! and your story is lovely :)

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  57. what a sweet sweet love story. When you know, you know.

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  58. What a truly lovely story...how wonderful it is that you have grown so much together. And your little Henry is just adorable :)
    Toni

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